Sunny

Sunny

max temp: 13°C

min temp: 9°C

ESTD 1874 Search

WIN A NEW HYUNDAI i10 - See the EADT on June 8 for full details

Lakenheath: Three Marines to be honoured for rescue of F-15E pilot

08:30 22 December 2012

Archant

THREE Marines are to be honoured next month for their heroics during a rescue mission in Libya in which they recovered a downed Air Force pilot, from a Suffolk air base.

shares

Capt Erik Kolle, Capt David Potter and Sgt Daniel Howington are scheduled to receive the Air Medal with combat distinguishing device on January 7.

The trio were involved in one of the Libya campaign’s most high-profile missions. They are credited with quickly preparing and launching from the amphibious assault ship Kearsarge with a 30-man recovery force. Under cover of darkness, they flew 150 miles to the crash sight of an Air Force F-15E near the city of Benghazi March 22, 2011.

They recovered Air Force pilot Maj Kenneth Harney, who along with his weapons system officer, Capt Tyler Stark, ejected from the aircraft. Maj Harney evaded Libyans while on foot for nearly four miles, until the Marines could reach him.

The commander of the rescue mission Col Mark Desens told reporters in July 2011 that Capt Stark ended up in a Benghazi hotel after being taken in by Libyan rebels. It left the Marines to recover Harney. Those involved said last year they were concerned they would face anti-aircraft fire, especially because they weren’t sure why the F-15E had crashed. The Air Force later determined an engine malfunction brought it down.

“That area was still contested,” said Capt Kolle. “We were planning for the worst case.”

Dozens of Marines, two CH-53E Super Stallion helicopters, two Ospreys, two AV-8B Harriers and a KC-130J tanker were involved in the mission. The Ospreys — each carrying about 15 reconnaissance Marines launched at 1.33am from the Kearsarge, about 130 nautical miles from the crash site.

The crash occurred on the third night of NATO forces bombing military targets in Libya, as Gadhafi’s forces laid siege to rebels fighting to overthrow him.

The plane was based at RAF Lakenheath but was flying out of Aviano Air Base, in Italy.

Capt Colle landed his Osprey at 2.38am with the help of a laser designator from an F-16 flying overhead. “I landed in front of him maybe 50 yards,” he said. “We were on deck about five seconds and the crew chief said, ‘Hey, we got him.’ So I was like, ‘Roger that, we’re getting out of here!’”

shares

0 comments

EEAST director Matt Broad

Ambulance response times in east Suffolk must now become consistently good following recent improvement.

Speed restrictions on the A12 for resurfacing

Newly-elected South Suffolk MP James Cartlidge is to meet Highways England engineers beside the A12 in his constituency next Friday to hear why the work has been delayed for a second time.

Ipswich Hospital

The cost of maintaining the Ipswich Hospital site has increased by almost £2million over a six-year period.

Second World War veteran Patrick Warren

A 94-year-old Second World War veteran has been honoured for his involvement in a campaign to get crucial supplies to Britain’s Soviet allies.

Essex Police last year searched the area near Scarfe Way in the investigation into the murder of Nahid Almanea.

The teenager from Colchester, initially arrested on suspicion of possession of an offensive weapon in the Salary Brook Trail on Tuesday was charged this evening.

Travellers on St Andrew's long stay car park, Bury St Edmunds.

The group of travellers have been told to leave by St Edmundsbury Borough Council or be taken to High Court.

Abellio Greater Anglia train.

The Greater Anglia services are being replaced by buses.

A large hole has appeared in the ground at the back of Holland and Barrett and Parkyns in Stowmarket.

Mystery surrounds the appearance of a six foot hole behind a shop in Stowmarket.

Sizewell A and B

A study is to be carried out around the Sizewell nuclear power stations site to investigate whether people eating food produced in the area or spending time there are vulnerable to radioactivity.

Muriel Munro's injuries

This sickening photograph reflects the brutality inflicted on a 90-year-old Ipswich dementia sufferer by her ‘cruel’ carer.

Most read

Most commented

Topic pages